Sunday, October 31, 2010

In My Mailbox(22)

::Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting IMM::


Bought:
Ghost Town - Rachel Caine(reading it,loving it!)
My Love Lies Bleeding - Alyxandra Harvey
Splendour - Anna Godbersen(at last!Last book in the Luxe series!)
(it was on sale and I thought: vampire and pirates.I love both :)

Gift:
(I have been planning on reading something besides the VA from Mead since she is only my favourite YA author, but for some reason I haven't picked her other series up yet.I know,I should be ashamed!I am!)


Borrowed:
 from my friend Anna @ Books To Brighten Your Mood

(let's see what all the fuss is about!)

What did you get this week? :)



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Friday, October 29, 2010

READING: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publication date: October 19th, 2010
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Bought
Rating: 3/5


Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described as anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away, and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch, or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed reading Hush,Hush.I didn't love it, but it was definitely a fun, addictive read.So, I was really looking forward for its sequel.Unfortunately though,Crescendo didn't live up to my expectations.

I had no problem with the writing.It was the same as in HH, simple, fast-paced, a bit less sensual than HH, but I didn't mind that.Well, at least as long as the characters and the story were decent enough.Hm, not so much, it turned out.

I was OK with Nora in HH.Granted,she was gullible and a bit of a doormat, but she was likeable enough.I mean, she was a teenage girl, in love with a bad boy.Okay, nothing wrong or surprising about that.In Crescendo however, she took "annoying" and "obnoxious" to whole new level!She was extremely jealous and possessive of Patch even when she had no reason and no right to be.She knew that something was wrong and that Patch had a reason for acting this way(if she didn't, add "totally ignorant" to the mix) and she was still bitching about Patch's behaviour towards her,all the while following him around acting like a weird stalker and still allowing herself to be bossed around by him,even though she had all these negative feelings towards him.I didn't like her lack of self-respect at all, and her whole attitude in the book put me off.
I liked how Patch handled Nora's uncalled for hysterics at the beginning and to be honest, that came as a complete surprise to me because I didn't like him very much in HH.Well, it didn't last long.After a 100 pages or so, Patch was his old arrogant, egotistical self again.Still, he was not as bad as Nora was.
Scott.New character.Didn't see the point in Scott's existence at all.He didn't add anything interesting to the story.Oh, except for driving Nora around from party to party.Yes, he was pretty good at that.

As far as the story is concerned, it was not bad per se, but it was surely confusing and pretty much a tangled-up mess, if you ask me.The whole story about Nephilim, fallen angels, archangels and their lineage as cool as it may sound, and it truly does, was unjustifiably  perplexed. I'd rather Fitzpatrick reminded us, without being repetitive, a little bit about what happened in HH, the story behind fallen angels, Nephilim and blood lines.It would be much easier to get into the story if she had given us a little bit more info on that, instead of me going "OK, he is the good guy.He is the bad guy.I don't care about the rest".

Make no mistake: you will definitely get hooked right from the start,if you choose to read Crescendo,and you will probably come to like it.However, for me it didn't work as well as HH and when all's said and done, I expected a lot more from it.
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

In My Mailbox(21)

::Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting IMM::


Again, my friend and undercover book faery,Evi,to the rescue! :)




Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick


Bones Of Faerie - Janni Lee Simner


Dragon Rider - Cornelia Funke


Look For Me By Moonlight - Mary Downing Hahn


Beautiful Malice - Rebecca James



What books did you get this week?


Also,what do you think of the new layout?Yay or nay?
I'd like to thank Yiota from Splash of Our Worlds and 
Eleni from La Femme Readers for helping me with it.
Note to self:never mess with HTML code ever.again.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

DISCOVERING: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins cover

Look at what just came in:


*squee* Can't wait!!!!



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Monday, October 18, 2010

READING: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins



Hex Hall
by Rachel Hawkins

Publication Date: March 2nd,2010
Published by: Hyperion Books CH
Source: Bought
Rating: 4,5/5

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I read Hex Hall in about a day.I know most of you are going "Meh, so what?" For me, a non native speaker, that's saying a lot about the book I am reading, and I am telling you I could not put this one down!
I absolutely loved it!

Being a huge fan of stories about magic, witches and warlocks, I have pretty high standards when it comes to books with that content.So I admit, I was a bit sceptical when I picked up Hex Hall.I realised, of course that I had no reason to be, as I was hooked from the very beginning!
Hawkins's writing was fast paced, funny,with a lot of pop culture references which always crack me up, especially when ancient supernatural creatures don't get them but try desperately to,regardless!I liked the idea of the school having so many different supernatural creatures attending, so we get the chance to see a little bit of everything:vampires, fairies,shape shifters, werewolves.

I love it when books have many different characters, all pivotal, and not just focus on a couple's epic love.It's always good to have options,right? Hex Hall was all about that. You could choose to like the introverted vampire, you could chose to hate the snobby faery, you could chose to lust after the hunky warlock.
As for the leads, I liked them both.Sophie is so nice and funny!She is a girl that went through a lot growing up.Having to move from place to place,Sophie never felt like she fit in anywhere. She thinks she can make a fresh start at Hecate,a place where she won't be judged by who she is, a place she can finally belong,only to discover that there are a lot of things she doesn't know about herself and about the people she thought she could trust.
Archer is your typical hot guy and Sophie's love interest.Despite the fact that he initially comes across like an arrogant know-it-all, there is something that makes him likeable that I can't quite put my finger on.That's what Sophie found in him and liked so much, I guess.

Did I find it predictable?A little bit.I kinda knew where the story was going from early on.But that's just me and my psychotic self, who just can't trust anyone and suspects eeeeveryone!

Hex Hall is without a doubt a very good, enjoyable read, which I totally recommend to every YA lover out there!

Can't wait to read the sequel, Demonglass, coming out March 1st,2011.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

READING: As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Publication date: September 1st, 2009
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
Rating: 2,5/5

Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.

There are times when you read such praising reviews about a book and you instantly want to buy it and read it, ignoring the little voice inside your head that's saying "Don't do it!You know you won't like it.Look the other way!", knowing all along that the little voice is always, always! right.
This was one of those times.

I just couldn't get into this book at all!
I was not drawn to the story at all and I felt that I could stop reading at any point and not miss it.Thing is, the story was what motivated me to read this book, in the first place.I mean, genies, 3 wishes and all that sound so exotic and amazing right?Well, it should.But it didn't.

I just couldn't connect with the characters.Viola was annoyingly selfish and not at all the shy and introverted girl she is trying to come across as.She plays with people's feelings in an attempt to "belong", not caring about the consequences.After the Jinn grants her first wish, and after claiming that she must put a looooot of thought in her wishes becuase they are not to be taken lightly, she suddenly changes her mind and wants to take it back, something which would entail hurting another person's feelings.And she doesn't seem to care at all about that!At fist I thought OK,maybe Viola is way too young(10-12 years old) and she doesn't know better,poor girl.But she is 16!She SHOULD know better!
As for the others, they were pretty much invisible to me.

I am really sorry to have to write such a bad review,but when I started this blog I made a promise to myself that I would express my thoughts about a book, whether it's good or bad.And I guess if I was a middle grader,maybe I could bring myself to like it.But seeing that I am not a middle grader, I must be honest and say that I didn't enjoy this book.

I will give this book 2,5/5. 0,5 is because of the Keanu Reeves line and the ending.


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

READING : Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler (ARC)

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Publication date: October 18th, 2010
Published by: Harcourt Graphia
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5
"Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world." Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she's been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home--her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power--and the courage to fight her own inner demons? 


*I'm reposting this review, due to Hunger's publication, October 18th 2010.
This review was initially written July 19th, 2010.



"Thou art Famine,yo." 

How can you not love a book that has this line in it?It's impossible!
When I first read Hunger's summary, I thought that this is the book for me.I love the Four Horseman/Harbingers Of The Apocalypse stories and I was so excited to read this,I can't even tell you!To be honest, I was expecting it to be more to the paranormal/supernatural side and it surprisingly wasn't, and thank God for that because I find that the matter it approaches is way more important than any paranormal story, however good.

Anorexia and bulimia are diseases.If you're thinking of losing weight by not eating or by throwing up what you eat, you are sick and you should immediately seek help.That's an undeniable fact.No way around it, no loopholes, no excuses.Lisa,the lead, is ill.Kessler herself,was ill for a short period of time and through her amazing writing,we are witnessing Lisa's slow and painful demise.I am not even going to dwell on the myriads of negatives aspects of being anorexic or bulimic.The one-chapter, "ritual" ,of Lisa's friend stuffing herself with anything she can find and then forcing herself to lose it was shocking, to say the least,and if that doesn't make you want to even reconsider doing something resembling that, I don't know what will.

But,in the end,Lisa found herself and through her eye-opening experience as Famine, she learned first hand about misery and poverty and finally,actual hunger.It was not easy,of course.Even in the end we see Lisa struggling to eat, even though she knows it's the right thing to do, it's what she HAS to do to help people in need, and I loved how Kessler used Lisa's compassion for others as a way to make her start eating again.She was not able to care about herself because she neither understood nor believed that anything was wrong with her , but she could still care about others, and that was enough to save her.

That being said, there is also a fun side to this book.Difficult to believe,but it's true!You can't help but crack a smile at Kessler's clever humour and witty one liners, a very welcome change to the otherwise gloomy and depressing content.I mean, come on!Death playing "Come As  You Are" on his guitar?Awesome!

The only problem I had with Hunger was its length.It was so short!I would like some more character development, especially War.And basically I wanted more material to read,more printed words,please!

So, even though Hunger left me wanting a lot more pages to gnaw at, it was an amazing start to a series and to all of you teens out there who don't even like paranormal:you should read this book,regardless!
Looking forward to Rage, coming out Spring 2011!!

Note:A portion of the proceeds of Hunger will be donated to NEDA(National Eating Disorders Association) so go buy the book, you guys!

DISCLAIMER:This book has been given to me by NetGalley, free of charge.


This,again,is a great opportunity to remind you guys of the "Body Image and Perception Month" that Jo over at Once Upon A Bookcase is hosting. Go and check it out!


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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DISCOVERING: New Covers!

Last night while looking for some 2011 titles to pre order, I stumbled upon these two :







Pretty cool, uh?
What do you think?


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Monday, October 11, 2010

READING: Deception by Lee Nichols (ARC)

Deception by Lee Nichols

Published date: June 8th, 2010
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Source: Won
Rating: 4,5/5

When Emma Vaile's parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age "knight in J.Crew armor," Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.

After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can't explain, as if she's returning home to a place she's never been. Emma doesn't trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he's about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.

What an awesome, awesome book!I am so glad I picked this up,even though at first I was a bit skeptical about it.I won this a while ago in a Teens Read And Write giveaway, so thanks so much you guys :)

Writing was exactly what I look for in a YA novel: simple, fast paced,engaging.Turning page after page I found myself captivated by the amazing world Nichols has created.Deception is not some stereotypical paranormal story with a love triangle casually thrown in.It has a dense plot and numerous aspects that always keep you guessing.

Characters were great.I liked Emma a lot!And yes, I am saying this for a female lead!It's not a first, but it sure is uncommon.I liked her energy, her attitude, I liked that she knows what she wants from the very beginning and never wavers. Bennett, oh Bennett!I absolutely loved him!It was so nice to finally see a guy that didn't confess his eternal love for a girl on the first page.I loved his indifference and aloofness that lasted pretty much throughout most of the book.It is way more intriguing and alluring to see the girl actually trying to get the guy and not take him and his feelings for granted.
Other characters were well developed as well, and all play important parts in the story.

What "bothered" me a bit though, was that Emma didn't seem to worry much about her parents' situation.She mentions them a couple of times but that's it.I know she had a lot going on but I expected her to care a little bit more about her parents going MIA all of a sudden.

Overall, Deception was a well-written, haunting(pun intented!)ghost story that definitely didn't disappoint.I totally recommend it!

Can't wait for Betrayal, sequel to Deception, coming out March 1st 2011! 


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Sunday, October 10, 2010

I've been tagged!

Yes, it happened to me too!I was tagged by both Anna @ Books To Brighten Your Mood and Eleni @ La Femme Readers


4 things that are in my handbag
1.MP3 player
2.Wallet
3.Sunglasses
4.Orange flavored Tic Tacs



4 things in/on my desk
1.My computer
2.My cell phone
3.A cup of coffee
4.A pen


4 favourite things in my bedroom
1.My bookcase (Billy from IKEA!Eleni, you think we have it in the same colour? :P)
2.My computer
3.My bed
4.My Interview With The Vampire poster


4 things I always wanted to do but haven't
1.Go to the US(anywhere in the US!), New Zealand or/and Bora Bora
2.Play a musical instrument
3.Finish my TBR pile
4.Not to worry about everything all the time


4 things I enjoy very much at the moment
1.Reading anything I can get my hands on
2.Going to 2 concerts in the next couple of months
3.Watching tons of TV series
4.I'm drawing a blank :/


4 songs I can't get out of my head(at the moment)
1.Love Dealer - Esmee Denters & Justin Timberlake
2.Billionaire - Travie McCoy & Bruno Mars
3.Head Over Heels - Tears For Fears
4.Love Lockdown - White Lies(Kanye West cover)


4 things you don't know about me
1.Things I fear most: snakes and earthquakes
2.When I finish a book and I know there is gonna be a sequel, I keep notes so I won't forget what the book was about when I pick up the sequel
3.I was in an elevator with Julie Benz and Connor Trinneer once in Bonn,Germany
4.I love the coconut/chocolate combo


Tag 4 people
Meg @ BoocMac




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Saturday, October 9, 2010

KINDLE GIVEAWAY @SPARKLING REVIEWS

Mary from Sparkling Reviews has a goal.She wants to reach 500 followers.Right now she is at 327.
Please, help her achieve her goal!Because if she does she will give away a Kindle, YES!A KINDLE!, to one lucky winner!!!!!!I think it is our duty to help, don't you? ;)
Also, if she reaches 1000 followers she will still give away a Kindle PLUS a $50 Amazon GC PLUS a $150 GC from The Book Depository to a second winner.
Not too shabby, uh?
Contest is open internationally and will end 2 weeks after Mary achieves her goals.
You can enter here : Kindle Giveaway

Good luck to everyone :)


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Thursday, October 7, 2010

READING : Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Publication date: April 1st, 2007
Published by: Flux
Source: Gift
Rating: 4/5

Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares — has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.


I have only read one other book by Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry, but I am already a huuuuge fan of hers!!!So, after a very good friend of mine got me Leaving Paradise for my birthday, I dived right in!

For starters, I loved the story behind Leaving Paradise. Teenage hunky boy, ex con, went to jail because of a hit and run and falls in love with the girl he hit?Come on!It practically screams beautiful, heart-breaking romance!!That, along with Elkeles's brilliant writing, was a match made in heaven!

Just like in Perfect Chemistry, the narrative was split between Caleb and Maggie.I love multiple POVs because not only the readers get to experience first hand each of the pivotal character's thoughts and feelings, they also have a more objective view of everything that is going on.
I have expressed my undying love for male leads in the past and Caleb is not an exception!I liked everything about him, from his very realistic relationship with his family to the helpless romantic he hides deep inside.
I have a few objections about Maggie, though.Don't get me wrong,she was a likeable character.Her feelings though were not that believable, in my opinion.She was very quick to fall back in love with Caleb, even though, at the beginning, she admitted that she pretty much hated him for what he did to her, and who can't blame her,right? Despite all the physical therapy she went through, she still walked with a limp, she couldn't play tennis which she loved and she was an outcast at school.But then suddenly, boom!All is forgotten.Well, OK, not exactly like that, but you get my point.That made her character a bit inconsistent and a little bit fake for my taste.I guess,knowing that there is gonna be a sequel,I didn't expect her to forgive and forget that easily.Or maybe that's just me.

Besides that minor flaw though, Simone Elkeles delivers once again with a beautifully written, genuine romance story!
I will surely be picking up Return To Paradise, the sequel to Leaving Paradise.I can't wait to see how things turn out for Caleb and Maggie!


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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

READING: Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler (ARC)

Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Publication date: April 18th, 2011
Published by: Harcourt Graphia
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a different kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power, and refuses to be defeated by the world.

"Thou art War.Thou art the Red Ridder of the Apocalypse. Rock on."


While Hunger introduces us to Famine, through Rage, we get to know War, a brand new War.Missy, a high school girl, a soccer player, an ex girlfriend.Missy, who sometimes wants to forget everything and be lost in her own oblivion and denial with the help of her little friend, the blade.Missy likes...no.Wants...no.HAS to use the blade in order to cut herself off from the world.She just has to.
Until Death comes knocking at her door.Literally.


There is nothing,NOTHING,I didn't like about Kessler's Rage.It was everything I wanted it to be and more!It was raw,bloody and painfully brilliant!

Well, I've got to hand it to Death.He sure knows how to pick 'em!
In my opinion, Missy made the perfect War.A respectable War, an admirable one.She embraced the pain and made it her own, instead of just giving in to it, which would have been the easiest and most painless way out.She decided that the most efficient way to stop War as Kessler so perfectly put it, is "by making peace".
It was a despicable thing what her classmates did to her, no question about it.They deserved nothing more that her wrath and vengeance.And she could just  very easily destroy them all, giving them more than a taste of their own medicine while she basked in their misery and demise.
She didn't, though.She chose the hard way and decided that by saving them, she was saving herself.Or at least she took a very big first step towards that.
My hat's off to her and every girl or boy who realises that there are more important things in life than the ones that make you hurt yourself in order to make them go away.

To say that Kessler's writing was brilliant, would be an understatement!Having read Hunger, I expected nothing less and I was not disappointed."Wow, I wish I could write like her!" was all that went through my head when reading Rage, while I looked dreamily at my computer screen.
Amazing!

I didn't add a lot of the story in my review because the book doesn't come out till April 2011 and I don't want to spoil it for you guys.
Just do yourselves a favour: read this book!I guarantee it will blow your mind!


If you're interested in more information about self-injury, try Secret Shame http://www.palace.net/llama/psych/self.html


DISCLAIMER: This book was given to me from NetGalley, free of charge.



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Sunday, October 3, 2010

In My Mailbox(20)


::Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting IMM::


Books I bought:


(look how the shiny blue letters are mirrored on the floor!Cool!)


(no comments on the cover!Ugh!)

Books for review:




Books that very very kind and amazing people got for me:


(loads of different genres,weird)









(not featured here,I loaned it to a friend.
Thanks E. for buying it for me,you're AWESOME!)


What did you get in your mailbox? 


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